As I sit here contemplating my toes, my eyes wander out to the garden. Spring is fast approaching and there’s much to do out here. Weeds to eradicate. Compost to rotate. Seeds to sow.
Maintenance helps keep the things I’ve previously planted thriving. New plantings enrich the landscape and fill in those blank spaces. But if you plant too much, then the plants start to compete and push out each other. Vying for the most nutrients and light. Inevitably something withers and dies. And just as inevitably, sometimes a plant doesn’t work in a particular spot in the garden. Sometimes it would thrive in a completely different environment.
The trick is noticing how things are doing. Paying attention to their signs of stress. Learning more about what they like and don’t like.
Every year this happens. Every spring I assess. What has made it through the winter? What holes are there to fill? What worked? What didn’t?
Admittedly, there have been years where I just plowed ahead. I ripped out the plants that weren’t working and just replaced them. Same plant, different seed.
I was throwing noodles at the wall waiting for one to stick. To know I was done.
But this year I want to do it differently. This year I want to save the plants before they wither. This time I want to tend the garden, so that I support the most life. And that means I need to pay attention. I need to spend time getting to know each plant. Appreciating them for what they are, and not asking them to be something different to fit my needs. And if they’re not the right fit for my garden, accepting that fact, and moving on.
These are my buds. They deserve my attention.